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Published: May 28, 2021

2021 $1,000 College Scholarship Winner

We are thrilled to announce the recipient of our 2021 $1,000 college scholarship.

Please join us in congratulating our winner, John Vierra!

Thank you to everyone who submitted their essays for consideration. We received many outstanding and competitive entries this year from students around the globe.

Meet our Scholarship Winner:

John Vierra was born and raised in the beautiful state of Hawaii and has three awesome siblings! He is currently a senior at Iolani School in Honolulu, HI and will be furthering his education at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. He competes on his school’s varsity golf team and absolutely loves the sport. John also often finds himself watching the news or debating issues with friends. He hopes to one day run for public office and is excited for the challenge that will bring.

John, from all of us at IVLA, we wish you the best of luck as you embark on this new and exciting journey on the other side of the country.  Congratulations, again!

Scholarship Winner, John Vierra

John Vierra

Read his remarkable essay below:

When rumors started to circulate around campus about going online, no one really believed it. The virus seemed like something that would just fade away. These feelings of doubt dissolved the instant we checked our emails, only to find that what was once an idea would become reality. I remember how I had to completely reorganize my method of doing things academically. To be honest, it was the first time in a while that I had to truly critique the learning strategies I used. Many of my classmates shared the same sentiment, and many were surprised over how efficient online education can actually be. I believe that the most significant takeaway was how online learning can help students create, build, and sustain positive learning habits.

During a traditional in-person school day, there isn’t much free individual time. There are breaks and free periods, but students are always surrounded by their peers. The bell schedule is always there to tell students when to get to class. When students were forced online, this whole concept changed. After moving to online learning, every minute outside of class was individual work time. Students had this freedom never before seen in a traditional classroom, but with it came responsibility. Students had to conduct an honest self evaluation of their habits. I believe that this is the silver lining in this situation. Students became exposed to new distractions and had to ask themselves some tough questions. Do I eat lunch early so I can work during the lunch period? Should I sleep in so that I’m fresh in the morning or should I get up early and get work done? Do I stay in one seat the whole day or should I work somewhere else when not in class? Students were put through the fire. Many parents had no clue how to help their children create online learning habits. After all, mass online learning is something unprecedented. Students learned a valuable skill. Online education requires planning and discipline. It requires building positive work habits that are not seen in a traditional classroom. Students quickly learned that they don’t have their teachers or friends to make sure they are on time. Students had to build their own routines that worked for them, and they had to do it quickly.

Coronavirus was tough on everyone, but oftentimes moments of adversity show us things we never would have seen before. I believe it showed students that they can adapt; they can cultivate their own power habits. I think students all across the country, perhaps even the world, learned that online learning can be a positive asset. Coronavirus showed students the kinds of habits that are required and taught them to meticulously develop their own. Students were granted a major takeaway about online education, but there is no doubt that even after their academic careers they will take these habit-building skills into their future.

States With Special Online School Requirements
New York | Maryland

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